The show opens in London in 2013, when the UK Ministry of Defence released its last UFO files, including an alleged photo of a UFO over Stonehenge. This leads to a discussion of UFO sightings in the area of Wiltshire County, where Stonehenge stands, as well as crop circles in the area. As nearly everyone reading this realizes after a decade of this show, there remains no evidence for alien involvement in crop circles. Human hoaxers are to blame.
After this, the show discusses Caesar’s encounter with the Celts during his failed invasion of Britain. The talking heads express wonder that the Celtic Druids adopted Stonehenge “as their own” even though they didn’t build it. They can’t fathom why, nor why the Romans couldn’t solve the puzzle either. Apparently they aren’t aware that the Parthenon and Pantheon both served as Christian churches after the Classical period, and the Hagia Sophia became a mosque.
A further discussion goes into the same well of asking how primitive people could have moved heavy stones. They could and did. The Romans moved heavy blocks, and so did the Victorians before the advent of modern heavy equipment. The narrator can’t understand why ancient people would waste their time building a mere temple of such size and weight if it wasn’t a magic alien mystery box. Again, the show seems not to have seen the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages, which similarly took centuries to complete, for no practical purpose beyond the needs of the faith they served.
The second segment goes back in time to trace the history of claims of astronomical alignments at Stonehenge from 1720 onward. Giorgio Tsoukalos claims that Stonehenge is a scale model of the solar system, including the dwarf planet Pluto, but this cannot be true because the planets do not have circular orbits, so the “rings” of Stonehenge cannot be planet orbits in a literal sense. The show provides no math to demonstrate that the ratio of the rings is equal to the ratio of the planetary orbits.
The show repeats claims from earlier episodes about astronomical alignments at other ancient sites, including Göbekli Tepe. Alignments, though, aren’t the impossible wonders the talking heads think they are. All you need to do Is to have you and your friends stand at the site where you want to build on the days you want to commemorate, and the mark the spots with stakes or rocks and then build around the markers. There is no reason to imagine high technology when simple techniques will do.
In the commercial break, the History Channel promoted a new show to air after Curse of Oak Island in which young men subject themselves to animal bites and stings so the audience can laugh at their pain. There is a lesson in there somewhere. Apparently the target audience for the History Channel isn’t just the ignorant but also the cruel. It is programming for our time.
The third segment just repeats material from Ancient Aliens’ dedicated episode about Göbekli Tepe, and the narrator purposely lies about “experts” claiming that a “highly advanced civilization” had to be responsible for the ancient temple site. The show claims that this civilization are the Watchers from the Book of Enoch, whom William Henry misidentifies as the Anunnaki. The Book of Enoch does not use the Mesopotamian word, nor does the name Anunnaki apply to the Nephilim giants or their angelic parents. It’s always the Watchers and Nephilim in the end, though. For reasons I’ve outlined over the past five years of blog posts, the Watchers/Nephilim myth underlies nearly every fringe history claim about ancient history in some way, largely due to a handful of fateful but largely accidental choices that a handful of Late Antique and early medieval authors made.
The show discusses Merlin transporting Stonehenge, which the giants had built. David Childress says it “may well have been the case” that the Nephilim built Stonehenge after the Flood. (The spell the medieval author of this tale as Jeffrey instead of the standard Geoffrey of Monmouth, which is weird since he lived before the letter J was invented.) Then they try to relate this to the Christianized legends of the Tuatha De Danaan of Irish myth, who originally were gods but had been euhemerized over time. I can’t, though, fathom why the show seems to use a picture of a Holy Roman Emperor to illustrate this. The show keeps trying to hammer home Zecharia Sitchin’s idea that all of the gods and giants are “Anunnaki,” but the Anunnaki of Mesopotamian myth were not the Nephilim of the Bible nor the Watchers (though there was some vague overlap in terms of the Jews reacting against Mesopotamian stories), but was the collective name for gods of fate. In many surviving texts, they are not sky gods but underworld deities. (This is not consistent across Mesopotamian literature, and their role changed from culture to culture.) It doesn’t really matter, of course, because the show can’t make a coherent argument for longer than a minute before flitting off to some other idea, lest we think about any one thing too hard.
A 2018 Harvard study found that genetic traces of the builders of Stonehenge disappeared after the Stonehenge period. Normal people would see this as evidence that migrants to the area replaced the population, through expulsion or extinction, but Ancient Aliens disagrees. Childress expresses amazement that the “newcomers” didn’t just let the old monuments rot, but there seems to be no purpose to the restatement of this claim from an earlier segment. It’s out of place with the rest of the segment, which features Andrew Collins and Graham Phillips visiting the Orkneys to spin conspiracy theories about the people who built Stonehenge and why they disappeared. We hear tell that various stone circles must be “connected” to Göbekli Tepe because they are all aligned to the same prominent stars. OK, but they are all looking up at the same night sky, so it’s not really a stretch to imagine that people around the world would all see the brightest stars. Giorgio Tsoukalos repeats the theme Childress originated and asked why anyone would bother building in stone when “sticks” could achieve the same result. I suppose he ought to ask himself why he lives in a house when a tent would achieve the same result of keeping rain out of his tower of hair. Andrew Collins claims that Stonehenge was built by the descendants of the builders of Göbekli Tepe, largely because he thinks the common shape of a circle is a mystical truth unfathomed except by the elect.
The fifth segment continues on from the previous one, with Collins and Phillips visiting more stone circles and opining that these circles are “portals between this world and another.” Phillips and Collins says that the henges are “windows” into other dimensions where “mysterious lights” can be seen due to the power of these stones to access what the narrator calls “other parts of the universe.” The narrator concedes that it is “preposterous” to propose that the Stonehenge builders walked into Stonehenge and were transported to another planet, but he says that ancient astronaut theorists speculate about it anyway due to the piezoelectric power of quartz crystals under pressure. Not to spoil the “fun” but the small bluestones to which this power is attributed were not being “crushed” under the pressure of a megalithic structure. They were sitting individually in a ring just on their own, hanging out, no pressure. Childress says that the Nephilim could have used “high technology” to activate the quartz in order to create a portal, which I guess is meant to suggest that the pressure from the previous discussion wasn’t necessary. However, no one notices the contradiction between Collins and Phillips claiming that these henge sites still allow UFOs to arrive from other worlds and the narrator and Childress alleging that the sites’ portals are closed due to their destruction and/or loss of Nephilim technology. The latter view reigns because it solves a big problem: If the sites are active portals, why isn’t the cast of Ancient Aliens lining up to take a walk in the Pleiades? They supposedly found a door to an alien paradise and have absolutely no interest in going inside.
The final segment returns to long-debunked crop circles from the 1990s, and Nick Pope claims that the Stonehenge crop circle of 1996 was an actual communication from space aliens. Childress is blasé about claiming that “extraterrestrials are landing here,” as though it were of no more interest than the latest sale in the Wal-Mart chinos aisle. The narrator says that the aliens have preserved parts of Stonehenge so one day we can “reactivate it” to transport ourselves to their planet. You’d think that Childress, Tsoukalos, Henry, and Collins would be busy building one to prove their faith true for all time. Somehow, though, despite claiming to be able to determine alien technology from broken rocks, they have done nothing to “reactivate” portal technology.
10/18/2019 10:55:46 pm
"Alignments, though, aren’t the impossible wonders the talking heads think they are. All you need to do Is to have you and your friends stand at the site where you want to build on the days you want to commemorate, and the mark the spots with stakes or rocks and then build around the markers."
10/20/2019 03:29:44 pm
There have been several new stone circles built in the UK, most of them to mark the Millenium.
10/19/2019 12:02:32 am
You seem to not be really watching these shows. You don’t mention the many archaeologists, biologists, and physicists who are interviewed.
10/19/2019 12:43:47 am
Who are the archaeologists, biologists, and physicists who are interviewed in this episode?
An Anonymous Nerd
10/19/2019 01:01:08 pm
If it was like other times I've seen legitimate academics quoted in this show then it was one of two things. The academics were being quoted in general background issues, not specific to the premise of the show. OR, they were speaking in support of the premise of the show but were making similar intellectual errors to non-professionals, usually but not always talking outside of their area without doing the necessary background reading.
10/19/2019 01:51:29 pm
What you get is a lot of sound bites that are positioned to make people look like they support some of this stuff.
10/20/2019 08:12:13 am
I'm still waiting for Mr. Clint to name one of "the many archaeologists, biologists, and physicists who are interviewed" in this episode. It seems like he can't.
10/20/2019 06:31:30 pm
He belongs to that fringe class type that drops a unsupportable comment and then leaves before getting called out. Like farting in a crowded elevator and running.
10/19/2019 02:07:12 am
Why bother debunking these shows? They can make this shit up way faster than you can research and point out how stupid they are.
10/19/2019 02:29:58 am
Little and usually no research required.
An Anonymous Nerd
10/19/2019 01:02:17 pm
Because it's useful to have someone who debunks it point by point as a direct response. I'm glad he's performing this necessary work.
10/21/2019 03:03:33 pm
Because Jason's comments are AWESOME and make me laugh, at least, as hard as the claims of the show do :-)
10/19/2019 06:11:01 am
I wonder if the makers of Ancient Aliens are aware of Woodhenge, a nearby henge largely constructed from tree trunks shaped into posts (In 2006 the positions of several standing stones were identified in the feature as well.)
10/19/2019 02:08:06 pm
I have real doubts that the makers and talking morons of Ancient Aliens are aware of much of anything, except for the fact that this mindless drivel sells. The fact that their core audience are idiots is of no concern.
10/20/2019 06:41:57 pm
Honey Boo Boo, Jersey Shore, Teen Mom are excellent indicators that mindless drivel sells no matter what the topic. The famous quote that has been attributed to PT Barnum is as true now as it was back in the day.
10/19/2019 09:50:12 am
Aw, geez. Need to ask Wolter. The proto Templars of Phonecia, portaled from Göbekli Tepe to Stonehenge then to America's Stonehenge on their way to the copper mines of Michigan. Michigan is an old Phoenician word for copper. Amerindians worked for the esoteric knowledge gained from these proto Templars. Images of Tanit will be discovered made of Michigan copper.Ancient aliens passed on the knowledge how to build portals to the proto Templars. A deformed X will be found in eaxh of these sites.
10/19/2019 10:26:34 am
I found an old diagram claiming to map the Solar System onto Stonehenge and its surrounding sites. The map shows the ratio between the sizes of Mars's and Jupiter's orbit as 1.32. The true figure is 5.2. So I think it's safe to say that Stonehenge is not an accurate scale model of the Solar system, even discounting the non-circular orbits. At best it might be a stylized representation like an orrery, but there's very little evidence even for that.
10/19/2019 10:29:12 am
"The true figure is 5.2". Cancel that. The true figure is 3.42. Typical arrogant scientist, not bothering to double-check.
10/19/2019 04:48:25 pm
In what sense is three and forty-two hundredths a ratio?
10/19/2019 06:41:33 pm
I think he means the ratio of the radii of their respective orbits. Jupiter’s orbital radius is 3.42 times the length of Mars’.
10/19/2019 10:43:26 am
Some High School kids spray painted the class hussy's phone number all over one of those ancient Templar copper mines in Michigan and left beer cans scattered all over the place. I am hot on the case to nail them all on multiple charges of hate crimes and domestic terrorism. A certain hate-filled debunker is going to be investigated for inciting this outrage and shipped off to Gitmo. Better start practicing holding your breath for three minutes at a time.
The Real Anthony Warren Jr. Time Lord
10/19/2019 10:25:11 pm
I was always the crazy one
10/19/2019 10:32:27 am
Anunnaki? Nephilim? Come on! Everyone knows Stonehenge was built by Fionn mac Cumhaill as a temporary playpen for his son Oisín, when Fionn, his wife Sadhbh and baby Oisín were visiting friends in Britain to celebrate Samhain.
10/19/2019 11:11:08 am
"In the commercial break, the History Channel promoted a new show to air after Curse of Oak Island in which young men subject themselves to animal bites and stings so the audience can laugh at their pain. There is a lesson in there somewhere. Apparently the target audience for the History Channel isn’t just the ignorant but also the cruel. It is programming for our time."
10/19/2019 01:21:29 pm
They'd have to be the same viewers two decades later since History's audience is about 3X older than the MTV one.
10/20/2019 09:44:43 am
Well, we haven't seen the audience for this new show yet, and those that grew up with Jackass are still well within the preferred ratings demographic.
10/19/2019 04:51:33 pm
America's Funniest Home Videos. Nothing new here.
10/19/2019 11:20:16 am
There was talk of doing a cross over show with AA, Curse of Oak Island and America Unearthed but someone figured out that they would blow out too many TV screens with so much crazy.
10/19/2019 02:05:57 pm
So called skeptics need to learn to say “I do not know”.
10/19/2019 02:18:02 pm
I say it a lot. But sometimes it's not appropriate. Simple arithmetic tells me that Stonehenge never was an accurate scale model of the Solar System. To say I do not know that would be absurd.
10/19/2019 04:59:12 pm
Assuming that Tsoukalos actually said "accurate scale model", "accurate model", or "scale model" you don't even need simple arithmetic. The fact that Tsoukalos said it is sufficient.
10/19/2019 02:25:01 pm
How exactly was the Great Pyramid built?
10/19/2019 07:40:50 pm
@ Doc Rock:
10/19/2019 08:04:50 pm
The Hancock groupie must have watched the same circa-1970 episode of Bugs Bunny that I did except that he took it seriously.
10/19/2019 02:44:54 pm
Oh, sorry. If you wish to apply labels. I, for one, DO NOT KNOW how so many of these pseudo types can attempt to pass off bat-shit crazy talk for accepted knowledge. There I feel better for saying I DO NOT KNOW.
Jr. Time Lord
10/19/2019 06:21:34 pm
"Again, the show seems not to have seen the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages, which similarly took centuries to complete, for no practical purpose beyond the needs of the faith they served."
10/19/2019 06:32:12 pm
A Swiss Army knife IS a multibladed pocket knife you imbecile (hat tip to Mr. Scales).
Jr. Time Lord
10/20/2019 08:19:59 pm
"A Swiss Army knife IS a multibladed pocket knife you imbecile (hat tip to Mr. Scales)."
10/20/2019 08:32:29 pm
Two years of Chinese classes and a 3.6 grade point average in seven classes and I don't know the word for pocket knife. I'm glad I switched majors to microbiology.
10/20/2019 09:12:32 pm
I get the analogy you imbecile, I was just pointing out that you are an ass. So is Wolter but I love the he's bitchslapped you for your last couple of posts. Your list of things a Swiss Army knife has is beyond stupid: a fork would be redundant when you could just stab the food with the knife.
10/20/2019 05:33:53 am
Not even joking, I'm actually kind of mad that nobody ever mentions the Stonehenge replica in southern Washington that you can see from across the river on I-84. What could have possibly inspired it??? Was he in a secret society?
10/20/2019 10:35:17 am
There is ample evidence from photographs and pictures produced in the 19th century that quite a few of the stones at Stonehenge were in a different position then, compared to 160 years later.
10/20/2019 07:55:44 pm
To paraphrase Vincent in Pulp Fiction, a little documentation would be nice.
10/20/2019 09:57:26 pm
I apologize, I worded my post incorrectly. What I meant to write was that there is ample evidence of quite a few stones being in different parts of Kent’s rock head compared to where they were in the 19th century!
Hey Doc Rock
10/20/2019 09:45:42 pm
You're a bimbo for accessing a Blog that is populated by religious fundamentalists, who are not rational skeptics but Biblical-Apologetic Skeptics. Jason Colavito hasn't got the guts to advertise the fact that he is a Roman Catholic and an Anti-Semite, being part of his Polish religious background.
10/20/2019 09:47:55 pm
Colavito is pronounced "tzauovito"
10/20/2019 09:52:44 pm
Tak - to jest Pravda
Polish anti-semitic Judas ritual
10/20/2019 10:08:38 pm
10/20/2019 10:41:09 pm
This seems to be a good time to point out that "Polak" is Polish for "Polak". Which means it's okay to call Polaks Polaks. Just one more instance of Archie Bunker being right.
10/21/2019 09:55:19 am
Thanks for the heads up. I had no idea that Colavito was a member of one of the inferior Slavic sub-races and a bloody Papist as well. I'll be the bastard even has a subscription to Smithsonian Magazine. I'm never going to believe another thing that he says.
10/21/2019 07:40:48 am
So crop circles are either exactly what the believers say they are or they're a hoax? I think this kind of black-and-white thinking is unworthy of a sceptic.
A Lurker Again
10/21/2019 07:54:05 am
Further to my remark above:
10/21/2019 08:02:35 am
10/21/2019 08:09:00 am
There is a difference between someone who wants to trick people in order to enhance the effect of a work of art and someone who wants to trick them simply to feel cleverer than them and that they've duped someone. Calling it a hoax without further clarification ignores that difference.
10/21/2019 08:11:40 am
When Banksy painted his art on privately owned walls etc., before he was famous, was this the kind of activity that gives art a bad name?
10/21/2019 08:15:16 am
Fiction by definition tells lies. This doesn't mean it's a hoax.
11/3/2019 03:38:32 am
10/21/2019 08:31:25 am
Re: Banksy. I would resent it if Banksy painted something on the wall of my house without asking me. I might have had other plans for that wall or just liked the way it looked. A wall belonging to a big corporation, which perhaps has never been seen by its owners, is a bit different.
10/21/2019 09:54:43 am
A fair point about the difference between a wall and a crop. To an extent. I've been to Wiltshire (itself one of the richest areas of England), and seen what the farmers charge to let people visit crop circles, so I'm not entirely convinced they lose out financially.
10/21/2019 11:35:01 am
My point re. Banksy was that his career trajectory suggests that most people don't object to private property being used in that way, and given that what most people think is pretty much the definition of whether or not something gives art a bad name, it seems to me that this is pretty solid evidence that artists taking liberties of this sort does not give art a bad name.
No One Cares
10/22/2019 02:23:18 am
Banksy needs to eat a bullet. His last piece will be titled "Blood Spatter".
11/3/2019 03:34:34 am
The Stonehenge claims of AA are utterly ridiculous on so many levels. I applaud the work Jason does here, and am saddened by those that actually take the show seriously. Have they ever taken an ancient history class? The most superficial similarities are taken as proof of an all-powerful, world-hopping group that must be responsible.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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